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ROTC making a comeback?

March 24, 2014

U.S. Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI Dist. 2), along with Coventry Town Council President Gary Cote, State Senator Lou Raptakis (D-Dist. 33) and Coventry High ROTC members, pose for a recent picture. Submitted Photo.

COVENTRY — Although local officials have reached out to federal officials to discuss what actions can be taken to save the AFJROTC program at Coventry High School, everyone’s waiting to see what the outcome will be from the site visit scheduled for the week of May 12 by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).

Joseph Stalaboin, a concerned parent who has been involved with getting the program back on its feet, has attended each meeting and had a conversation with federal delegation on March 13, said the conference call was a success.

Since the announcement came at the beginning of February that the Junior ROTC program would cease due to enrollment numbers have been consistently too low, there’s been an outcry from parents, school administration and from the cadets themselves to do what the school can to save the 41-year-old program.

During a February 22 roundtable meeting that included local legislators, Coventry High School Principal Mike Hobin and other school officials, parents and ROTC instructor Colonel Steven Buteau, everyone agreed it’s time for drastic action.

The issue is getting the necessary number of students (100) to enroll in the ROTC program and funding it before it is disbanded by the Air Force.

Representative Lisa Tomasso, Dist. 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich) said the application for provisional approval for the JROTC program as a career pathway within the Career and Technical Education program needs to be approved before further work can be done.

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Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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